VBots Visual Turtle Programming

  • Mod
  • Builtin
  • mod
  • education
  • programming
  • visual
About 3 min

Nigel Garnett: VBots are single-block "turtle"-style robots that are completely visually programmed. They exist to entertain my 5 year old daughters and teach them the basics of computer programming without writing too much.

Command the turtle robot with graphical commands.


Basic operation

  • Run the program by tapping an idle VBot with your free hand (or click the run icon in the menu [see below]).
  • Hit the running VBot (turtle robot) with bare hands to stop the program.
  • Right-click (double-tap on Android phones) to open the Action Menu (see below).
  • Hit it with anything other than an empty hand to dig a VBot (turtle robot), but remember that the robot can only be mined (returns the turtle to the inventory) when the VBot's inventory is empty.

Action menu


The icons commandscommands and inventoryinventory are used to toggle between the 2 panels shown here.

The command pane above contains commands for the robot, which can be added to the current subroutine by simply clicking on them (red area on the right).

The lower panel shows the inventory list panel, with the bot's inventory list on top and the player's inventory list below. This panel is used to add things to the robot's inventory (so that it can build with them) or to remove things from the robot's inventory after digging.


When the Trashtrash icon is pressed, delete the last command on the current subroutine page. Next to this icon is another 1x1 trash can slot, which acts as a trash can, and anything that falls into it is destroyed.

  • Runrun icon, like hitting the robot with an open hand, it will start the program
  • Save! The save icon saves the current program and subroutines under the robot's name.
  • Loadload icon allows you to select a program and load it into the robot. Also on this menu are icons that allow programs to be deleted and renamed.
  • The resetreset icon will clear the main program and all subroutines, but will not clear the robot's inventory.

The Subroutines panel (red on the right) has 7 pages. The lion icon is the page of the "main" program, where execution starts when the robot is activated. The other 6 pages are subroutines, which can be invoked via the 6 "run subroutine" icons at the bottom of the command palette. Dinosaur Goat Horse Parrot ![Bear](. /vbots_run_5.png) Rhino


  • forward backward up down forward , to move the robot backwards, up or down. If the new location is not empty, the move will fail.
  • home moves the robot back to where it was placed. NOTE: The orientation of the robot will not return to its original orientation.
  • clockwise anticlockwise random These commands turn the robot in a clockwise, anticlockwise or random direction.


  • dig up dig down dig These commands make the robot dig nodes in that direction, then move to where it digs. NOTE: Mining will fail if the node being mined has protection that the bot owner cannot mine.
  • Build Up Build Down Build These commands make the robot place a block at the specified location (if protected allowed and the location is empty). The node placed by the robot is the first thing found in the robot's inventory, starting with the first slot.


speed This pseudo-command selects the speed at which the robot will run the program. When followed by a number multiplier, it makes the robot run many times faster. When there is no number after it, it resets the robot to normal speed.


x2 x3 x4 x5 ![x6](. /vbots_number_6.png) x7 x8 x9 In addition to speed (as above), the multiplier Works the same for all commands. For all other commands (including call subroutine commands), they cause the command to run multiple times.

Example 1

forward x4 clockwise x2 forward x4 clockwise x2

The program makes the robot move forward 4 spaces (if possible) then turn 180 degrees, move forward 4 spaces (i.e. back to the starting position) then turn 180 degrees again to face the original orientation.

Example 2

Example 2 is actually Example 1 using subroutines.

In the dinosaurdinosaur subroutine put the following: forward x4 clockwise x2

Then, in the lion main program (lion), call it twice like this: dinosaur x2

Last update: 6/29/2023, 10:40:54 PM
Contributors: Riceball LEE